Books I’ve Read 2019

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: Based on the powerful true story of Lale Sokolov – Heather Morris – It’s tough to write about Auschwitz now as everything has already been said, but the book did a good job of showing a different side to life in the concentration camp. 7/10

Schackleton’s Forgotten Men – Lennard Bickel – I’ll admit, I knew very little about the exploration of the South Pole before I read this book. It describes the fight to survive of Shackleton’s team really well even though their mission as a whole was pointless. I learned a lot and it was a page turner. 8/10

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman – I found the start a bit odd and depressing, but still interesting. Fairly predictable but a good read nonetheless. 8/10

The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It – Neil Bascomb – I enjoyed this one, it it well structured and gives an interesting and personal account of the runners of the time who fought to break the 4 minute barrier. 7/10

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – Jon Krakauer. I have mixed feelings about this book. I didn’t like the intros to each chapter, but the story itself is very interesting. It wasn’t really a page turner and I get the idea that we are being fed his version of events, but it was a worthwhile read anyway. 6/10

Der Junge im gestreiften Pyjama – John Boyne – So I read this in German, which mean I missed some nuances, but I still found it to be a great book. It is such an innocent tale in a dreadful time. The end is also so perfectly understated, it fits well with so many people dying all the time in Auschwitz. I would read this one again. 9/10

Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough – Duncan Hamilton – Meh. The book seemed to skip over his successful era and linger on the years of decline. By doing so it missed the interesting football of the age. 4/10

Masters of Rome – John Stack – I bought this years ago not realising that it is the 3rd of a series. Fortunately it stands alone well and focussed in on a small part of the 1st Punic War that I otherwise wouldn’t know about. It is overly dramatized, and not very historically accurate but an enoyable read if you like that kind of thing, which I do. 7/10

Ganz oder gar nicht – Jan Ullrich – This is his 2004 autobiography where he describes his life to that point. I found that it was very tour focussed and missed out lots of stuff that would have been interesting to me. He also goes to great lengths to excuse his social drug use (it only happened once accidently – yeah right) and denies that he doped or would ever dope – spoilers, he doped. Ullrich isn’t an author, it shows. 3/10

The Dry – Jane Harper – Excellent, a real page turner. There is a lot going on all the time and everything comes together perfectly at the end. I was often thinking about this book when not reading it! I had to slow down so that I didn’t finish it before our trip to Athens was over (3 days!). 9/10

Cold War – Tom Clancy – Jerome Preisler – Oh my god did this suck. It was a fight to get through it. There were just too many storylines, most were pointless and when something interesting did happen, you’d have to wait another 80 pages before it’s followed up on. The writing style felt very clunky to me too. 1/10

Popcorn – Ben Elton – It was a pretty funny and easy to read book. Very superficial and, like the movies it references, not something that will live long in my memory, but it was decent. 6/10

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